Can a Trustee Remove a Beneficiary from a Trust

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Can a Trustee remove a beneficiary from a Trust

Can a Beneficiary be Removed from an Irrevocable Trust?

Can a beneficiary be removed from an Irrevocable Trust? Yes, beneficiaries can be removed from an irrevocable Trust via various statutes and Trust instruments, e.g., a Trust protector. The Trust instrument must call out this option for the Trustee to exercise their power of appointment. There are tax implications, however, when removing a beneficiary from an irrevocable Trust.

Can a Beneficiary be Removed from a Revocable Trust

Yes, a Beneficiary can be removed from a revocable Trust because a revocable Trust is a Living Trust and managed by the Trustor/Grantor during their lifetime. Once the Trustor/Grantor dies, the Trust becomes Irrevocable, and the Beneficiaries can no longer be removed.

If you are a beneficiary, learn more about how to remove a Trustee from a revocable Trust.

Removing a Beneficiary from a Trust

 

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Considering Removing a Beneficiary from a Trust?

If you are the successor trustee, then you are responsible for carrying out the fiduciary duties of the irrevocable Trust. The objective is to live up to your fiduciary duty and keep oneself out of trust litigation. If you are looking to “remove” a beneficiary because of tension between you, i.e., the successor Trustee and a Beneficiary, then in short, No, you cannot remove a Beneficiary. 

What is a Power of Appointment?

Within the Trust, would be an amendment called the “power of appointment” that allows a person the ability not to remove a beneficiary but to adjust the distribution of assets. The Trust distribution provisions can be changed with the Power of Appointment and not to “remove” a beneficiary. 

Who is Given the Power of Appointment

Now, this power of appointment is customarily given to a surviving spouse. The surviving spouse may have children that are in a different financial status point in their life. The settlors’ view is the following: The surviving spouse has the right to change on the fly the distribution of the assets. If the settlor opened this up for the successor trustee to change the distribution of assets, you would look for the power of the appointment amendment. The power of appointment, however, must be exercised in order to come into effect. Primarily it works similar to an amendment which allows the surviving spouse to move the assets around, i.e., gives property to whomever he/she so chooses.  

With a Power of Appointment, it typically will have limits to how much gifting and the amount of the change is allowed.

Where do I find the provision to remove a beneficiary?

So to determine if you can “remove” a beneficiary, you will need to look into the Trust document, as there is no legal right given to a Trustee to remove any heir or Beneficiary from a Trust.  

What are the Rights of a Trust Beneficiary?

As a trust beneficiary, they have the right to ensure a properly managed Trust. They also have the right to the following:

  1. Payment: As set forth in the Trust document, the Beneficiaries have rights to the asset distribution from the Trust.
  2. Right to Information: Beneficiaries have the right to the administration of the Trust.
  3. Right to an accounting: All current beneficiaries are entitled to an accounting of the Trust. The accounting will include a.) all income b.) expenses c.) distributions. Also, they are privy to an annual accounting.
  4. The Beneficiary has a right to petition the removal of a Trustee: Should the beneficiary feel, and have been reasonable in their time-frames and approach, and have not received the needed information from the Trustee, the Beneficiary can petition to the courts the Trustee removal process.  The argument may be the lack of transparency for beneficiary rights to information.

What are the Responsibilities of a Trustee?

As a Trustee, it’s essential to be transparent and recognize that most beneficiaries are unfamiliar with the trust administration process. Their first thought maybe fear of not being paid and paranoia that a shady backhanded agenda is at work.  

To combat the reason to want to remove a beneficiary from a trust, you will want to consider the following:

  • Contact the beneficiaries’ early in the process. (note: there are timeframes that specific steps must take place). An estate planning attorney can help guide you and protect you, and the estate.
  • Education: Educate them as to your role, your objective, letting them know your fiduciary responsibility is the settlor’s wishes, and that your fiduciary duty is to put the beneficiaries in front of your, the Trustee’s preferences. 
  • Discuss time frames, etc.: Many times, beneficiaries believe within weeks of the settlor’s passing, that they should be able to get some of the estate benefits. Let them know that many steps are needed before any distribution can take place, such as paying taxes, debts, etc.
  • Trust document: Keep a handy copy of the trust document for review. If a beneficiary asks for it, you have easy access to it, eliminating the possibility that you are unreasonable for not sharing the information.

To close, having experienced counsel by your side is of the utmost importance. You know, if found to be negligent in the pursuit of the estates’ wishes, you can be held personally responsible at can be a civil matter. Never let this happen.  

 

 

 

Trustee Removal

Are you a Trustee or Beneficiary where protection of the Trustors wishes are being challenged and causing family disputes?

Develop strategies on preempting a Trust dispute and discover What You Need to Know About the Trustee Removal Process

Hess Verdon has a deep bench and knows both sides of the equation to remove or suspend a Trustee or to safeguard the Trustee from a frivolous legal process. Hess-Verdon top litigators will help you stay on track!

 

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Beneficiary is attacking me

Attacked by a beneficiary who objects to how you, a Trustee, or Administrator, is handling an estate?

Prevent Trustees from Making Some Common Mistakes. 

Duties | Delays | Choices | Distributions

Timing on each one is critical to avoid litigation

Hess-Verdon has over 30 years of dealing with Beneficiary and trustee disputes. Let us review your situation. You’ll be glad you did. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

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Contesting a Trust

 Are You Considering Contesting a Trust or the most recent amendment? Was there a capacity issue or undue influence?

Be Careful when contesting a trust and know the elements it takes to protect the trust assets. Reserve your rights before Statute of limitations happen!

Hess-Verdon works hard to resolve Trust and Estate issues and preserve the estate by minimizing costly litigation. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

 

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Serving Trust Litigation: Throughout the state of California

Serving Counties: Orange County, CA. , Los Angeles County, Riverside, CA., San Diego, CA.

Serving Cities Nearby: Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Newport Coast, Corona Del Mar, Anaheim, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Buena Park, Fullerton, Orange, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, Garden Grove, Tustin, Yorba Linda, Fountain Valley, Dana Point, Rancho Santa Margarita, Ladera Ranch, Placentia, Laguna Woods, Aliso Viejo, Coto De Caza

 

Choosing the Right Trust Estate Litigation Lawyer is Crucial

Searching for an Orange County Trust Litigation attorney?  Hess-Verdon & Associates is one of the most knowledgable and most sophisticated trusts and estate law firm in the state of California at both the trial and appellate levels.

Our legal team of Trust Attorneys in Orange County, are well versed in estate planning, trust administration, and trust litigation.

Our viewpoint is the following:  Aggressive legal representation with a team of experts that protect you, our preferred client, with current tax and estate planning strategies.

Our litigation team has spent years acquiring extensive experience in trial preparation, strategy, and trial presentation to help you with your specific case. 

We welcome the opportunity to discuss your needs, our qualifications, staffing approaches, and rate structures with a view toward the successful resolution of Estateand trust-related matters.

Learn more about our Living Trust Attorneys.

Trust Dispute Lawyers

Trusts are very complex legal instruments.  When disputes arise based on trustee administration disagreements, a trust dispute lawyer can help mitigate possible mediation, arbitration or litigation.

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What Is Trust Litigation?

Trust litigation is where a Beneficiary or Trustee or even an heir of a Trust feel their legal rights are trampled upon and need legal counsel to represent them in court. Typically the trust litigation is between the Trustee vs. the Beneficiary/heir. Many issues can arise, and mostly due to transparency, i.e., the beneficiary feels the Trustee may be self-dealing. Self-dealing is where the Trustee puts their needs and wants before the Beneficiaries. Now, the Trustee knows they have the fiduciary duty to put everyone above their self-interest first and to comply with the wishes of the Trustor. 

Now, after legal discovery, both parties will be asked to do the following:

  • Mediate
  • Arbitrate
  • Litigate

Trust litigation is by far the most costly and can drain the estate assets. If you are a Trustee and or Beneficiary, best to keep communication open at all times with proper bookkeeping.  

Why Consider hiring Hess-Verdon trust litigation attorneys

We work efficiently to help individuals, families, fiduciaries, organization with the following:

  • Trustees
  • Beneficiaries
  • Individuals and families
  • Banks
  • Trust Companies
  • Charitable entities
  • Family Offices
  • Corporate Fiduciaries
  • Corporate Trustees
  • Business Owners

Here at Hess-Verdon, we counsel clients on various aspects of estate disputes. Such as investigating potential claims, evaluating the merits of bringing a claim, filing or defending a claim, and when necessary litigating a claim through trial or settlement.

With our expert team of trust litigators, in many instances, we can settle such proceedings without going to trial after taking into account the merits of the positions advanced by the respective parties and the tax rules applicable.  

Rest assured, the Hess-Verdon team is here to help you. Unlike some other law firms, we are a full-service firm. Handling thousands of probate and trust litigation cases helps us know exactly steps are crucial for your case.

Visit us in Fashion Island in Newport Beach. If you believe you need a team of attorneys, paralegals, and a helpful, caring staff, then read on.

Schedule an appointment today. Our specialized team is ready to assist you.

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What are some common trust disputes: 

When we meet with clients, we will discuss Trust disputes as well and how to avoid them. Our team of attorneys will cover the beneficiary perspective and Trustee(s)’ aspect and the steps for both parties.

A Person may Bring a Cause of Action for the Following Reasons:

  • Trust Contests
  • Disputes involving interpretation of sophisticated estate plans
  • Disputes in Probate Court
  • Discussions regarding Trust Administration
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims and Ethical Concerns
  • Undue Influence and Elder Financial Abuse Claims
  • Business and Asset Valuation Disputes
  • Contested Conservatorships
  • Professional negligence and breach of duty defense for fiduciaries;
  • Petitions to include omitted assets into the trust (Heggstad Petitions);
  • Probate Code § 11700 proceedings to determine inheritance rights;
  • Property and entitlement disputes;
  • Recovery of lost, excluded, and disputed property (Probate Code § 850).
  • Trust Accounting disputes
  • Kinship proceedings
  • Surviving spouse’s right of election
  • Fiduciary litigation and removal proceedings

Schedule an appointment today. Our specialized team is ready to assist you.

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My Family is Suing me

Are you being sued by a family member over a Trust or Will?

From threats to harassment to emotional distress, many people’s knee-jerk reaction is to sue and has become increasingly common. 

There are many options to resolve a family dispute in court and out of court. 

With over 30 years, Hess-Verdon has handled Trust and Estate Lawsuits and dealing with family dynamics. Do not panic; Hess-Verdon is ready to help you today.

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Trustee Delaying my Inheritance

Past the reasonable “time period,” and Trustee has yet to make the required distributions?

Diagnose the stalling tactics from an uncooperative Trustee and UNCOVER Steps to Take to Get the Trustee to Distribute Your Inheritance.

Hess-Verdon, for over 30 years, has worked on both sides of the coin. Receive counsel on staying on the right side of the courts. Seeing thousands of problems facing Trustees and Beneficiaries has allowed us to assist and complete the wishes of the Trustor/Executor. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

  

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Trustee Deadlines

Up against or even missed a deadline? Know which ones are upcoming?

Shore up your fiduciary responsibilities 

Conflict of Interest | Distribution of Funds | Upcoming deadlines

And put yourself back on track and avoid a trustee removal petition

Time is ticking, and seeking guidance from a Hess-Verdon Attorney is your attorney source to know protect your family’s legacy. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

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Changed Trust Before Death

Was a Trust changed while under the care of a brother, sister, or institution and possibly been influenced?

 Act fast and attain a strategy on resolving fraud, forgery, undue influence, while protecting your rights and staying on the right side of the court.

 Hess-Verdon & Associates helps seek proper legal advice and provides you with the sound direction you need to understand what constitutes an invalid Trust or amendment. Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

 

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Elder Abuse

Has a family member has been subjected to emotional, physical, and financial abuse?

Whether it be a nursing home, or in their own home, they need to be protected.

Abandonment | Medical Abuse | Self-Neglect | Violation of Rights

From the evidence of medical experts to testimony of witnesses, Hess-Verdon & Associates will listen and guide you through this complicated legal arena. Understand your rights today! Contact us for a No Charge, No-Obligation Consultation.

 

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We are here to help!

Emotions Can Run High in Disputes Between Family Members, Especially in Matters Involving Money.

Need a Second Opinion?

Are you feeling your attorney is not answering your questions? 

Up against a deadline | Going over Budget | Case Taking too Long 

These are just a few reasons why you need a second opinion.

Hess-Verdon has a deep bench experience and works with the courts. If you have questions that your attorney is not answering, or the litigation has taken unexpected twists and turns, Hess-Verdon has handled Trust and Estate Lawsuits for over 30 years. Do not panic; Hess-Verdon is ready to help you today.

 

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Truly exceptional law firm! They provided concise, decisive legal assistance during unanticipated events during estate proceedings. They made a bad situation better. Our family will always be grateful. There is no one I would rather have than Hess-Verdon & Associates representing my family.

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Suzanne Casey

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